The Weirdest Things Aussies Have Googled Over The Years

Can you cast your mind back to a time when your life was not dictated by Google?

You'd only need to think back 20 years, to when Britney ruled the airwaves, Posh and Becks started dating and we used AOL and Yahoo to look things up on the Internet.

Since then, Google Search has become our way of navigating each and every day; to answer life's seemingly simple questions and to satisfy our innermost curiosities (e.g. How many weeks in a year? How to delete a page in word?  Can you die from a hangover? What do dogs dream about? How does it end?)

Here is the search engine back in 1998 with the launch of, when co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page introduced us to the wonders of searching with PageRank: circa 1998. Image: Supplied

Along came the country domain, four years later! circa 2002. Image: Supplied

All this leads us nicely into a nostalgic look back at some of the weirdest and most popular things Aussies, and our fellow searchers abroad, have Googled over the years.

READ MORE: Google Tracks Your Movements, Like It Or Not


We'll start towards the beginning, when Nostradamus was the number one overall -- and misspelt -- search term for a whole month.

Nostradamus is a 16th-century French writer and philosopher who some believers claim predicted everything from the U.S. Civil War to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and 9/11.

There were huge crashes when the mir space station returned to Earth, and when our sweetheart Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise announced their divorce.

Jennifer Lopez also made it to on list, when her infamous Grammy's dress in 2000 when on to inspire Google Image Search.

Jennifer Lopez, circa 2000. Image: AAP

Britney Spears, Harry Potter and the Matrix topped the global searches in 2003, with Shakira and 50 Cent trailing not far behind.

Aussies were tuning into the first ever season of Australian Idol, when the illusive wrath between winner Guy Sebastian and runner up Shannon Noll played out on Network Ten.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq saw a spike in searches, which more than doubled on March 19 when Operation Iraqi Freedom began.


Let's jump ahead a few years to when the hottest search terms on started surfacing.

Aussies went crazy for the lemon detox diet, Masterchef and vampires, with Twilight-related searches becoming the fastest rising of the year.

The top three global searches were sounding similar: swine flu, Susan Boyle and 'stimulus package'. Losing music icon Michael Jackson, plus the rumoured death of Jeff Goldblum and Miley Cyrus, also had people intensely Googling.


2011 was a year of curiosities, with the rumoured iPhone 5, video game Minecraft and the lucid tones of Adele spiking Aussies' attention.

Alongside Justin Bieber, Charlie Sheen and Qantas, YouTube joined the list of top news searches, which could come be explained due to the rise in mobile phone footage recording breaking news.

This Australia Day Google Doodle sparked conversation in 2016. Image: Supplied

Cast your mind back to a time when Korean pop stars broke the internet. Gangnam Style was Australia's top trending search in 2012, alongside the Olympics and a $100m Oz Lotto win.

Aussies were asking how to love in 2012, closely followed by how to hypnotize (with a z!), while our fascination with Kate Middleton was only internationally out-searched by Whitney Houston's death.

We also saw a spike in searches for 'misogynist'. 


In 2016, Aussies searched for Brexit, Bowie and banana bread. Pauline Hanson took out the title of the country's top trending politician, while we also took a firm interest in the U.S. presidential election.

A 16-year-old artist sparked conversation over her Australia Day Google Doodle depicting Indigenous Australians from the Stolen Generation.

2017: Slime, fidget spinners and bitcoin. Image: Supplied

'How to' questions took a real turn in 2017. It was the year we took an interest in slime, fidget spinners and were hungry for Shepherd's pie and buying Bitcoin.